The Piper M600 turboprop announced in April 2015 and slated to enter service later that year has been delayed to the third quarter of 2016. The news was first reported by Flightglobal in London.
Piper CEO Simon Caldecott, who was unavailable for comment, told Flightglobal that the company had promised customers a maximum operating speed of 250 knots (calibrated airspeed). Engineers were unable to reach that speed in testing, requiring a redesign of the wing’s internal structure.
“The wing has already been changed and we expect TC [type certificate] in early Q3,” said Piper spokeswoman Jacqueline Carlon in an email to AOPA.
The aircraft, based on the M500, is powered by a Pratt & Whitney Canada PT6A-42A engine using a Hartzell four-blade propeller. Carlon said testing with the redesigned wing has achieved 250 knots true airspeed. The maximum cruise speed is now 274 knots, an increase from the 260 knots currently listed on the Piper website.
The good news is that the original goal of a 1,300-nautical-mile-range with a 45-minute reserve has been exceeded to 1,441 nm. It is not known if that includes a 45-minute reserve. The 250-knot speed was important to owners operating from large airports shared by airliners, Flightglobal reported.
In other news, Hartzell Propeller received a supplemental type certificate for a five-blade composite propeller designed for the Piper Meridian and Piper’s new M500. That new propeller is also available to retrofit the roughly 500 Piper Meridians already in service.